Health Ecology: Health, Culture, and Human-Environment Interaction

By Morteza Honari; Thomas Boleyn | Go to book overview

13

Health Impact Assessment in Flanders

Contribution to environmental management and health

Peter Janssens and Luc Hens

Abstract

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) performed so far in Flanders, Belgium, differ widely in their content and approach. To lessen the problems, the Flemish government has decided to develop a manual of guidelines for EIA.

A methodology has been proposed for each of nine knowledge areas or disciplines: Air, Climate, Noise and vibration, Radiation, Soil, Water, Fauna and flora, Landscape and monuments, and People (health and population density). This chapter summarises the methodology dealing with the health aspects of EIA.

As health is intrinsically related to the environment, Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) fundamentally rests on the description of environmental changes. Health risk assessment uses toxicological and epidemiological methods. Using these results, the expert predicts the health effects of environmental changes associated with a project or activity.


Introduction

In Belgium, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is regionalised. Belgium is divided into three regions: Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders. Legislation for EIA in Flanders differs from that in the other regions. Devuyst and his colleagues have evaluated this situation (Devuyst et al., 1991a, 1991b, 1993). Since 1989 the Flemish regional government has identified a list of projects and activities which should be subject to EIA (Table 13.1).

Following the introduction of EIA legislation in the Flanders region, a uniform format and framework of methodology and presentation between various EIA reports has yet to be developed. The contents and methodology used in the assessments developed to date differ markedly.

A description and evaluation of EIA in the Flanders region was performed by Devuyst and colleagues (1993). This study revealed a lack of quality control concerning the content of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs).

To facilitate a resolution of this difficulty, the Flemish regional government determined to develop benchmarks and publish guidelines for EIA. The primary goal of these is to establish a basis on which experts can rely when formulating EISs.

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Health Ecology: Health, Culture, and Human-Environment Interaction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures x
  • Tables xii
  • 1 - Health Ecology: 1
  • Part I - Health in Macro Ecosystems 35
  • 2 - Good Planets Are Hard to Find 37
  • 3 - Health and Conservation 59
  • 4 - Human Health as an Ecological Problem 79
  • 5 - Health Through Sustainable Development 112
  • 6 - Health and Political Ecology 135
  • Part II - Health in Micro Ecosystems 151
  • 7 - Health of Women 153
  • 8 - Health of Children 175
  • 9 - Healthy Homes 193
  • Part III - Selected Case Studies 207
  • 10 - Health Ecology and the Biodiversity of Natural Medicine 209
  • 11 - Health of Rural and Urban Communities in Developing Countries 227
  • 12 - Health and Psychology of Water 250
  • 13 - Health Impact Assessment in Flanders 258
  • Index 267
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